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Nebraska State Symbols

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Welcome to Nebraska, a state with some strange symbols. Why is Nebraska nicknamed the Cornhusker State when it just stretches into the western edge of the Corn Belt? I prefer the nickname Antelope State, even if the graceful pronghorn isn’t a true antelope. (Continued below)

Nebraska State Flag
Nicknames & Slogans
Nicknames Cornhusker State, Antelope State, Bug-Eating State 1945
(former) Tree Planters’ State 1895
Slogan Welcome to Nebraskaland, where the West begins. 1963
Symbols of State
Motto Equality Before the Law 1867
Song Beautiful Nebraska 1967
EcoSymbols
Flower giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea) 1895
Tree cottonwood (Populus deltoides) 1972
(former) American elm (Ulmus americana) 1937
Grass little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) 1969
Bird western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) 1927
Migratory Bird sandhill crane (Grus canadensis) 2022
Mammal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) 1981
Reptile ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornata) 2017
Fish channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) 1997
Insect honeybee (Apis mellifera) Redundant Symbol 1975
Gemstone blue chalcedony (agate) 1967
Rock prairie agate 1967
Fossil † mammoth (Mammuthus) 1967
Soil Holdrege Series 1979
River Platte River 1998
Cultural Symbols
Soft Drink Kool-Aid 1998
Beverage milk Redundant Symbol 1998
Baseball Capital Capital Wakefield 1997
Historic Baseball Capital Capital St. Paul 1997
Village of Lights Cody 1997
American Folk Dance square dance Redundant Symbol 1997
Ballad A Place Like Nebraska 1997
Language English Redundant Symbol 1923

One of my favorite Nebraska symbols is the majestic sandhill crane, which was designated the official migratory bird. For good measure, the Platte River was named the state’s official river.

Nebraska shares its state fossil, the mammoth, with Alaska. However, Alaska recognizes the woolly mammoth, while Nebraskans embrace all mammoths.

Nebraska officially boasts the ugliest U.S. state flag. Indeed, it would be hard to find a flag as atrocious as Nebraska’s anywhere in the world. Yet most Nebraskans have learned to accept their flag; “Try and change it over my dead body,” they might say. In fact, the flag representing neighboring South Dakota is just as bad, and few Dakotans complain about it, either.

But who cares about flags when few people fly’em, anyway? A prairie landscape carpeted with Nebraska’s state grass, little bluestem, is far more beautiful than any flag.

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If you think state flags and flowers are nothing more than trivia, guess again. A thorough exploration of the more than 1,500 items adopted as state symbols embraces geography, history, and psychology.

You have found the best state symbols website, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The introduction above is adapted from Geobop’s State Symbols and My State Symbols Book, by far the biggest and most detailed state symbols references ever. You can learn still more about the symbols of the 50 states in the books Flag Quest and Grading the States. (Learn more about them here.)

After you spend some time exploring your favorite state’s symbols, you can come back here and tell us what you think about them.

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